Icy roads? No problem for biking and running

With the reductions in municipal snow removal, the streets have been a bit of an icy mess for a while, but that’s no excuse for not continuing to bike and run.

My winter bike has Nokian Extreme tires with steel carbide studs he got them from a tire services. They’re not needed all winter long, but they work great on icy roads.

And winter biking is often in low-light or darkness, which makes it difficult to see all of the icy spots.  The Nokians add a layer of confidence that if you do hit the ice, you won’t hit the deck.

For running, I’ve added 11 sheet metal screws to the tread of an old pair of Nikes. The screws are short enough to not poke through. So far I haven’t lost a screw but I sure have worn some down.

There still is a little bit of slippage with these shoes when pushing off hard on the ice. I think a few more screws in the lower-forefoot might solve that.

Sparks were Flyin’!

img_1974The day started, or actually didn’t start well.

I don’t drive all my little VW diesel all that often.  All that sitting around doesn’t help the battery in these below zero temps.  Despite the battery being just a couple  months old, it didn’t have enough juice to get the engine started.

I quickly tried untangling some frozen extension cords (which should be a new Winter Olympic sport) and ran a battery charger to the car.  Not fun.

So after work I took a spin on my main transportation.  My bike.

We’re in the midst of the Winter Ride Challenge Series.  Riders get points for attendance.  The colder the windchill, the more points one gets.  And there are bonus points if it’s nighttime and if you ride a singlespeed bike.

With the windchill well below zero, tonight was a huge night for points!

The roads were icy and snow covered, which wasn’t too bad, though I did nearly wipe out in Royal Oak.

While navigating a turn, my rear tire started to slide out.  Eventually my front studded tire started to do the same.  I rode the two wheel drift long enough for the front tire’s stud to finally hook up.  According to the guy behind me, sparks were flying off the steel carbide studs as they skid across the pavement.

Whoo hoo!

“I hope I don’t regret this”

img_1787That’s the last thing  I said as I removed my Nokian Extreme front tire from my winter bike.  The Nokian has 294 steel carbide studs and hooks up on ice like nothing else.  But, on dry pavement, it’s a noisy drag.

The road conditions were pretty decent, so I switched to a non-studded tire.

Six tenths of a mile later I was layed out on the ground.    I hadn’t been looking ahead and found myself going fast on a 100 foot stretch of smooth ice.  The crash was inevitable.

The bike was fine.  I ended up with a crab nebula bruise.

A lifetime of cycling and still learning…

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